WE really do struggle to change how we behave, and plastic bags and Christmas show just how difficult we find it.

With the 5p price folk started to use the more expensive thicker plastic ‘bags for life’ but recent figures show it’s a short one with over a billion being sold in the UK last year – that’s well over twenty for every adult. It could need £1 a bag to make us use cloth bags or baskets like our grandparents did.

However even more challenging was Christmas when reducing our intensive CO2 habits comes face to face with tradition.

It was helpful to have a live, locally grown Christmas tree made from current CO2, and it can be potted on for another year, or perhaps composted. Artificial plastic ones mean high emission levels from manufacturing and shipping.

Our family Christmas dining tables were buckling with the volume of food, and while the meat and milk products should have been more restricted this was the case for the meals on following days.

We made sure that the abundance didn’t produce waste and some inventive menus in the New Year consumed all the surplus from the festivities.

It seems there was even more horrendous Christmas knitwear around this year, adorned with Santa and reindeer. These jumpers are rarely worn twice, and come cheap, synthetic and CO2 rich from poorly paid overseas factories. Now my handknitted woollen jumper, from Shetland sheep, means fewer emissions and will last for years.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Image: Hazel Nicholson / Flickr

Surprisingly the fairy lights weren’t a real problem as they are generally LED so a string of 100 bulbs uses just one fiftieth the energy consumption of the fridge, and they can be recycled.

However the 100 million plus rolls of wrapping paper, used nationally this year, can’t because of plastic and glitter contamination, so we use brown paper. The ribbon, saved from previous years, also means no sticky tape..

The Christmas presents were a challenge but home made jams, panto tickets and an additional, extra compost bin means less waste and hopefully fewer emissions.

A happy CO2 reducing new year to you all.